On 4 March 1989, Chiara Lubich answered questions from the animators of Youth for a United World. In this extract she refers to the care of creation, a new issue at that time and a pressing need for all humanity today.
… the development of science, the development of technology, is something enormous and marvellous which has amazed everyone. … But it’s happened so often without any reference to God.
If we continue like this, our planet could explode from one minute to the next and throw us into a different kind of catastrophe – no longer an atomic disaster but an ecological disaster.
It’s almost as if, over these last few decades, human beings have been trampling, crash, crash, through the mud with enormous heavy boots, splashing mud everywhere, throwing into the sky things that don’t belong there, and into the rivers things that don’t belong there, pouring into the oceans things that don’t belong there. They’ve ruined the trees, ruined nature….
Yet, at the same time, there have been many new discoveries, many wonderful things and great developments. So, there is good mixed with the bad. But they didn’t listen to God, they were hidden from God, and now this phenomenon is forcing us to face the situation together, with a united world. If we don’t solve this problem together, we will never solve it.
In other words, everything tends toward unity. Even the negative things make us realize that, yes, universal fraternity is essential, but it has to be in God. Yes, things should be done differently; we have to live on this earth, not blow it up. But we have to remember that God exists.
So, there is this thrust, this turn-around, but it’s making everything tend towards unity, forcing us to be one, like the ecological problem, which is forcing us to bring about a different kind of fraternity.
All these events, especially the painful ones, which are more difficult to interpret, should be seen in two ways. In one sense, they are as they are, but something else is involved, too. God’s hand is there, God’s providence which transforms them and makes them into the fuel for our spiritual life.
The cross was needed to redeem us, that suffering was necessary, that cry: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” to save us.
Our suffering is also necessary to create a new world, to change the world, to change people and creation- suffering is needed, it’s necessary.
(Chiara Lubich, Answers to the questions of the animators of Youth for a United World, Castel Gandolfo, 4 March 1989)